Bradley B. Roberts
Progressive Liberal Party
Loretta Butler-Turner’s characterization of the Prime Minister as incompetent is akin to the pot calling the kettle black. In light of the damage she and her cabinet colleagues inflicted on this country and our people, she has no shame or conscience to deflect from her government’s failure rather an account and apologize to the Bahamian people.
After inheriting a robust economy with record government revenue; record employment; record direct investment, she and her cabinet colleagues managed to help wreck the Bahamian economy is five short years, driving the economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff. Unemployment doubled; the economy contracted and our national debt expanded by 40% in those five short years.
She and cabinet colleagues are quick to blame the recession and shamelessly use it as a crutch for their failures in governance, but consider the following:
The STOP, REVIEW AND CANCEL economic policy was arguably one of the dumbest and most harmful policies on record. Did the recession force the FNM into this self-serving act?
What about the jumpstart program? Millions of dollars were spent on small businesses, but where are the businesses and the jobs they were intended to create? Was the recession to blame for this lack of accountability?
The infamous New Providence Road Improvement Program (NPRIP) where gross mismanagement resulted in the unnecessary closure of numerous businesses and the loss of many jobs, not to mention $100 million in needless cost overruns placed squarely on the backs of hurting Bahamians. The PLP had to offer relief to over 200 businesses at an additional cost of $15 million. I suspect FNM’s cry is that the recession made them do it.
An estimated Fifty million dollars spent on a so called jobs training program, but no accountability or transparency on the numbers of persons trained, the disciplines in which they were trained and the certification as proof of competencies. Tens of millions of hard earned tax dollars wasted with nothing to show for it the FNM used the money to advance their narrow and selfish political interests. How else can Butler-Turner explain this spectacular failure in governance?
And what did the FNM do for an encore: they all washed their hands like Pontius Pilate, walked away from the mess they helped create, and feigned ignorance of their five years of governance. At all material time Loretta Butler-Turner sat at the FNM Cabinet and approved all of these terrible policies and the Bahamian people are suffering from to this very day. She or any one of her colleagues should be the last to call anybody incompetent.
The FNM cabinet members are the poster children for incompetence.
Thankfully through the grace and mercy of God the economy has turned the corner, Bahamians are returning to work and the government has succeeded in attracting fresh money into the country. We remain confident and optimistic about the future of our country, notwithstanding the hurricane Bahamians have had to endure, courtesy of Loretta Butler-Turner and her colleagues.